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  • Writer's pictureSusan Houser

Berkeley, CA

Berkeley is a city of 113,000 people just across the bay from San Francisco. Berkeley Animal Care Services (BACS) handles animal control and sheltering for Berkeley. BACS also handles animal sheltering for the nearby cities of Piedmont (population 11,000), Emeryville (population 10,000), and Albany (population 19,000). (Emeryville contracts with Piedmont for animal control, and both cities contract with BACS for animal sheltering. Albany contracts with BACS for both animal control and sheltering.) BACS moved into a new shelter building in early 2013. The history of BACS and the decade-long effort to build the new shelter is described here.

I called BACS to ask about their owner surrender policy and was told that residents of the four jurisdictions served by BACS may surrender an animal at any time with a small fee ($20 for a cat, $20 for a licensed dog, and $30 for an unlicensed dog).

In 2012, BACS had a 91% live release rate with an intake of 1863 animals (scroll down in the link for the report). The shelter reported zero animals in the “died/lost in shelter care” category during the year and 3 owner-requested euthanasias were performed, so the live release rate is unchanged if those categories are counted as euthanasias. In 2013, BACS took in 1641 dogs and cats and had a 90% live release rate. The shelter reported 1 owner-requested euthanasia and 1 animal in the died/lost category, and the live release rate is unchanged if those deaths are included with euthanasias.

BACS transfers a high percentage of its animals (796 in 2012 and 668 in 2013) to community organizations. Two private organizations —  the Berkeley East Bay Humane Society (BEBHS), and Home At Last Animal Rescue (HAL) — are part of a coalition to support BACS. The group is known as the Berkeley Alliance for Homeless Animals Coalition (BAHAC).

Berkeley, California, was originally listed by this blog on April 18, 2013, based on its 2012 statistics. This post is a revision and update with 2013 statistics.



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